If you’re actively participating in a program of sport, strength or fitness having reliable markers to track fitness progress may be of importance to you.
There are three different types of markers:
1. Physical changes (i.e., body composition).
2. Performance-based progress
3. Mental shifts
4. Health Markers
Physical changes are the most common fitness progress marker to track (body weight, body fat, lean muscle, circumference measurements, progress pictures, etc.) but performance-based goals are now gaining popularity too.
Maybe you are more concerned with getting a pull-up, improving a 5k time or deadlifting a new weight than you are dropping a jeans size?
Mental shifts, while not too common to track in a specific way are something to note as well. Has your mood improved as a result of training? Do you sleep better? Do you have more energy? Do you tolerate stress more optimally?
Health markers are useful to track if your primary goal is to live a more healthy life. Did your blood pressure lower? Did you improve your cholesterol profile? Did you successfully get off a medication?
The number on the scale is not the only number you can track to see how you’re doing. In fact, it’s usually very unreliable as a marker of progress.
Here are the options we recommend for tracking body composition progress:
1) Progress pictures – easy to do just make sure you take them in the same clothes and the same lighting each time.
2) Circumference measurements – get a soft measuring tape and record what areas you want (waist, arms, thighs etc.). However, there is some margin or error with trying to get precisely the same spot you measure each time.
3) Hydrostatic weighing – the most accurate measurement for tracking lean muscle and body fat. COMING to F5 SATURDAY, JULY 14th ENROLL HERE.
Did you gain lean muscle? Did you lose body fat? How do you know? The scale doesn’t tell you if you lost or gained muscle or fat.
Increasing your lean body mass and decreasing fat gives you that shape and tone that people normally think of as “weight loss” but the number on the scale may not budge or may only change marginally when, in fact, you’ve made significant progress!
People who lose weight rapidly through calorie restriction and/or excessive cardio often lose muscle and only a little fat, this lowers their metabolism and leads to weight gain after the diet (which is one reason why we don’t recommend “diets” and lots of cardio to our students).
Strength training and HIIT exercises like Muay Thai our Fighter Fit classes support muscle growth and fat loss. Combined with eating balanced, nutritious meals and getting good recovery this type of fitness plan is more effective for fat loss than just cutting calories and doing a lot of “cardio.
The only way to know your body composition progress is to get body fat tested regularly.
The hydrostatic weighing dunk truck is coming to F5 again on Saturday, March 3rd from 8am-12pm and is available for testing.
It’s just a quick 10 min appointment to help you with tracking your fitness/body comp goals.
If you are interested in tracking your body composition numbers, you can —-> ENROLL HERE.